tv Face the Nation CBS October 14, 2012 10:30am-11:30am EDT
>> schieffer: today on "face the nation," what really happened in libya. it's been more than a month since the american ambassador in libya and three other americans died in an attack on the diplomatic compound there. but it's become the subject of an explosive congressional hearing. >> we felt great frustration and the fact that those demands were ignored or in some cases just never met. >> schieffer: and it's become an issue in the campaign. >> we weren't told they want murder security there. we did not know that he wanted more security there. >> schieffer: state department officials said otherwise as mitt romney was quick to point out. >> the vice president directly contradictedly the sworn testimony of state department fors. officials. he's doubling down on denial. >> schieffer: but why did it take so long for the administration to admit the attack was the work of
terrorists when the president of libya had told us five days after the attack that's what it happened? >> this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined. >> schieffer: we'll talk to south carolina senator lindsey graham, who has been looking into the situation. and we'll talk to california congressman darrell issa whose committee is investigating. we'll also gret the take of congressman elijah cummings, senior democrat on the committee. then we'll talk about that, the with vice presidential debate, and the campaign with our political panel, david corn of "mother jones" magazine. katrina vanden heuvel of the can the nation. bay buchanan, pollster frank lutz and our own john dickerson. that's a lot but this is "face the nation."
captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: good morning. senator lindsey graham is one of the senior republicans on the armed services committee. and he has been looking into this attack. senator, welcome to the broadcast. i know you have been investigating this. have you reached an conclusions on why the administration waited so long to acknowledge this w the work of terrorists? >> well, the facts are there was never a riot. the night in question, september 11, ambassador stevens was being visited by the turkish ambassador. and the coordinated attack lasted for hours with al qaeda-associated militia. my belief is that that was known by the administration within 24 hours. and, quite frankly, susan rice, on your show on september 16, the president on the 18th, the and the 25th, kept talkin talking about an attack inspired by a video.
they're trying to sell a narrative, quite frankly, that the middle east, the wars are receding and al qaeda's been dismantled, and to admit that our embassy was attacked by al qaeda operatives and libya leading from behind didn't work. i think undercut that narrative. they never believed the media would investigate. congress was out of session, and this caught up with them. i think they have been misleading us, but it finally caught up with them. >> schieffer: well, that is a very serious charge you just leveled, senator graham. >> uh-huh. >> schieffer: are you saying the administration deliberately misled the american people to make it look as if terrorism i is-- is not as much of a threat as apparently it is? >> either they are misleading the american people or incredibly incompetent. there was no way with anybody looking at all that you could believe five days after the attack it was based on a riot that never occurred. there was no riot at all. to say that, you're either very incompetent or misleading.
this is the same administration that leaks every detailed of classified operations that are successful. within a week, you had three stories about cyber attacks against the iranian nuclear program. about disrupting the underwear bomber case. any every detail of bin laden, all over the "new york times," all over the press, showing how strong and effective this administration was. so, yes, they're very political when it comes to foreign policy. >> schieffer: well-- >> when something goes bad, they deny, they deceive, and they delay. and the truth is, we're not safer. al qaeda is alive. behind may be dead. al qaeda is alive, and they're counter-attacking throughout the entire region. and the truth is that the foreign policy choices of president obama is allowing the region to come unraveled. >> schieffer: where did you get this information that led you to this conclusion? did you talk to officials there? did you talk to people in the c.i.a.? did you talk to people in the administration? how are you so convinced of what you have just stated? >> the intelligence community on the ground in libya has told
senators corker and myself that within 24 hours, they communicated up to washington that this was a terrorist attack. president of libya on the same date said it was a terrorist attack. the video of the compound shows there was nobody at the benghazi consulate. there was never a group two riot. and the evidence is overwhelming, and the idea that it was spawned by a video and a riot would be-- hold want administration blameless. they said it was a copycat of cairo. it wasn't a copycat. it was a sustained attack that lasted for six or eight hours, using heavy weapons, which undercut the idea that al qaeda has been dismantled and on the run. and it certainly undercut the idea that our policy choices in libya have not-- of not going after the militia, not helping the li libyans train a national army were good choices. >> schieffer: just to help people understand this, i want to play a part of what susan rice, the u.n. ambassador said
it our broadcast five days after the attack and immediately after the president of libya said that this was a work of terrorists. here's what she said: >> we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned. >> so, again, what about this, senator graham? i mean, do you-- i mean, should there be questions now to susan rice? i mean-- >> well, it's not just susan rice. the president of the united states said it was the result of a video on david letterman two days later. and the facts are very clear. there was never a riot. there was never a group of people around the embassy. it was a coordinate terrorist attack that took hours. patrick kennedy from the state department briefed congressional staffers the day after the attack saying it was a terrorist attack. the next day, after she was on your show, the counter-terrorism deputy said it was a terrorist
attack. and the president after that went on national tv "the view" and david letterman talking about we're not sure if this was inspired by a video, a hateful video. the reason they're trying to sell this, if it is true it was an al qaeda-inspired attack that was coordinated involving heavy weapons that lasted six to eight hours and our embassy consulate was so exposed and they had denied numerous requests to reinforce it, is exhibit a of a failed foreign policy. i have seen this movie before. i went to iraq in 2004 and everybody told me things are going fine. iraq was falling apart, and you couldn't get the truth from the busk administration. the middle east is falling apart, and they're trying to spin what happened in libya because the truth of the matter is, al qaeda is alive and well, and counter-attacking. iraq there has been a doubling of al qaeda operatives in iraq since we left, 2500. iran is flying over iraqi airspace to deliver weapons to syria. syria's becoming 30,000 people
dead and foreign fighters moving in to syria. the iranians have quadrupled the amount of enriched uranium they have to build bombs, as the obama administration talks to them. this whole region is about to explode. seaboard on the march. northern mali is now under the control of radical islamists that make the taliban look like choir boys. they're trying to sell something, that the inteleon the grounds on will not it justify. when john kerry said ask bin laden if he is better off. they're creating a false narrative about the true status of al qaeda and it all caught up with them in libya. >> schieffer: senator graham i want to thank you for some very sobering words this morning. thank you very much. we want to go to san diego where the house oversight chairman darrell issa who held hearings on this last week joins us. congressman, do you agree with what you just heard senator graham say based on what you found out at these hearings? >> much of what senator graham
says has been confirmed repeatedly. our hearing was not really about the fact that long after they should have been saying this was a terrorist attack they were still sticking to this story that it somehow was a video and a demonstration. what we did the hearing on, elijah cummings will be on in a few minutes and myself-- was the fact that if security professionals are giving the warning that they need more security, that they need to change how we do business diplomatically in the region, and that's not being heard, then it isn't just ambassador stevens who is now dead. it's everybody who working throughout the middle east is at risk if we cannot get the security level right. and that's why we held the hearing and theld when we did is if they're not being listened to and charlene lamb was very clear-- she thought she didn't make a mistake, even after the ambassador was dead. she stuck by she made the right decision to strip him of much of the security that would have given that extra precious time
to evacuate him. so do we have two problems, the one that the senator is speaking of? absolutely. we need to get the truth. we need to get it real time, and we need to quit having people say something is true when long afterwards they know it isn't. but i think in the case of our committee, we're-- we're recognizing that there were $2.2 billion in a discretionary fund that could have been used for security, still could be used for security enhancements throughout the region. plus the d.o.d., the military, if we need these things to keep our diplomats safe in these countries, we need to start spendings that money and not claim that we don't have enough money. in fact, charlene lamb said money was not a consideration. she just thought they didn't need the security. and quite frankly, we believe they didn't want the appearance of needing the security. and we want to put real security ahead of the appearance of not needing security. >> schieffer: well, senator-- i mean, congressman, i do take your point. but let me also ask you about
this. did not house republicans try to cult a hal cut a half billion dollars from embassy security budgets over the past two years? if we need the security why were your party members saying let's cut these budgets? it sounds like they didn't-- they didn't think you needed it, either. >> we've more than doubled over the last five years, the september budgets 115%. so there's no question at all we have been adding more money and we continue to add more money. there's a lot of talk and congressman-- >> schieffer: i'm sorry, i'm sorry, congressman. i'm not sure-- are you saying that house republicans did not try to cut a half billion dollars from embassy security over the past two years? >> okay. what the democrats are saying and mr. cummings will say in a minute is that we-- quote-- cut 300 million. the vote that reducedly what the president had asked for, which would have been an increase was
149 democrat tolz 147 republicans, and quite frankly, it was, in fact, sufficient. we've been told that. you can't always look to money when there's money sitting there. there's $2.2 billion in discretionary reprogrammable money that wasn't used. the fact is, they are making a decision not to put security in because they don't want the presence of security. in our hearing, and in testimony, we were told they removed their diplomatic plates because they wanted to be invisible. they didn't put any markings on this building that was attacked because they didn't want have 2 have people know they were there. that is not how you do security. after there was a 12-foot hole blown in the wall of this compound, all they defense rebuild the wall, no new reinformat, no kind of capability to protect somebody inside. now, it happened to be an ambassador that was killed, along three others. it could have been any federal employee, any contract employee that was killed. and it still would have been the warning signs were there, and
they weren't heeded. the money was there-- >> schieffer: what do you think the reason for all this was when you come down to it? was it simply incompetence? >> this is not very republican, if you will but when president george w. bush went aboard an aircraft carrier and said, "mission accomplished" i listened rightfully so to people who said, look, there are still problems, and they're still dying, and quite frankly, things got worse in many ways after that statement. we're going through a "mission accomplished" moment. americans were tigued september 11 by terrorists who preplanned to kill americans. that happened. and we can't be in denial, particularly when there are-- there are compounds all over want middle east that need to be legitimately protected at a level that security professionals ask for. >> schieffer: what do you plan to do next on the committee? are you going to call u.n. secretary rice, ambassador rice? >> well, mr. cummings has asked
for that. i joined with him in asking for ift. we want to have some additional additional classified briefings on what did they know and when did they know it? after the election i plan to lead a coddle to go and meet with the security officials in country, country we country in many of these areas to hear what they feel they need. if there needs to be supplemental money, of course congress would respond. congress has always responded to specific request for security for our personnel opinion when you simply-- when you have a general accountability study showing, fog, in iraq there was over $200 million that shouldn't have been spent that was wasted, you have to say we give you a certain amount of money. give us specific requests. in this case, the money was there. they chose not to have those security personnel on the ground in leckia. >> schieffer: all right, congressman, thank you for coming on this morning. we're going to be back in one minute to hear from a top democrat on that same committee about this investigation.
>> schieffer: we want to go now to baltimore, the home of congressman elijah cummings. he's the ranking democrat on the house committee investigating the libya attack. we asked the administration to provide someone from the administration to give their take on this story. the administration declined. so congressman, we appreciate you coming on this morning to talk to us. i want to ask you, don't you think there are some genuine questions to be asked about this and how it happened is it. >> bob, first of all, what happened to ambassador stevens and the other three public servants was indeed a horrible tragedy. we will search the killers down and bring them to justice. the one thing we must not do, though, bob is make this out to be a it-- and treat it luke a
political football, and i think that's basically what's happening. we have a situation where we rushed to a hearing. we don't have substantial evidence yet. we're still gathering evidence, coming to conclusions, and looking in search of facts. and this is what has happened. but, again, we-- there's a lot to be answered. and i think you asked the right questions. yeah, there are a lot of things we need to address. but this is not the way to do. we have an faul an f.b.i. hearing going on, investigation going on, and hillary clinton, secretary clinton, has appointed an accountability review board to look at this, and we will get the answers. but the way we're doing it, i think, is basically based on a campaign schedule, trying to give romney some talking points. but i don't think that our men who were killed deserve this. i don't think our diplomatic
corps deserves this. we can do better. >> schieffer: let me just judge you this, congressman, and i say this with all respect-- if there were a car wreck here on m. street outside my office and i looked out the window and saw a car wreck, i wouldn't have to wait until the cops came to know it was a car wreck. i mean it was a car wreck. there were two dozen people in the countdown there. they had windows. they could look out the window. they could see there was no demonstration going on. and yet it was not until last week that the administration admitted that this was a preplanned terrorist attack and not a spontaneous demonstration. >> what certainly-- from what i understand, secretary rice was given information by the intelligence folks. and the intelligence folks said themselveses that they initially got some information indicating that they may have been some type of mob activity outside of this place. as a matter of fact, ambassador
kennedy, under secretary kennedy, the state department, came before our committee-- and by the way he's one of the same people that lindsey graham cited-- he came before our committee and made it clear that if-- and by the way, this is somebody who served every president since president nixon in the state department-- but he came and said if he had the information that-- he had the same information that secretary rice had and it's still an evolving situation, he said he would have said the same thing. bob, bob, i just listened to that interview, both of those interview, and this conspiracy stuff is kind of ridiculous, to be honest with you. and i'm kind of surprised that they've gone to these lengths, but you know, that's what they do. one of the things i'm hoping is they did admit-- issa did admit that we do have a-- that they did try to cut the budget-- they did in fact cut the budget for security, and i'm hoping that they will join me-- that hearing i requested-- that he join me in
getting emergency supplemental for our embassies so we can protect our people. >> schieffer: let me ask this question, then, did this ambassador and three other americans die because of incompetence at the state department? >> you know, i don't-- i really don't think so. as i listened to the witnesses we did hear from, i think people were making their best judgments. and that's why we need to have a hearing so that we can ferret out all of this. keep in mind, we have not heard from anybody who was actually in libya the night of the event. we've heard nobody that was in benghazi the night of the event. we have not had-- our commity has not had a briefing a classified briefing yet. so it seems a bit early to be coming to certain conclusions. one thing is for sure, as issa just admitted, they have basically tried to strip the-- reduce the budget, and they have for security, and romney and
ryan, of course, in their budget, they will take away $400 billion-- $400 million in 2014, and billions of dollars over the next 10 years. >> schieffer: i have to just get a short answer. do you think this is simply a witch-hunt? >> i think that it-- i think it's turning into a witch-hunt. and we can do better. we really can. >> schieffer: all right. congressman, thank you so much for joining thus morning. as we say, we asked the administration for a spokesman. they declined to send one. won't. i'll have some personal thoughts on a very sad day in the nation's capital. music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life.
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>> schieffer: some of our stations are leaving us now, but for most of you we'll be back way political panel to talk about the impact of this story on the campaign. plus what's ahead for president obama and governor romney in the next 23 days. and we'll take a look at what some of the late-night comtees so are saying. stay with us. cln
>> schieffer: joining us on my right, romney campaign adviser bay buchanan. bay, good to have you. republican pollster, frank lutz. plus cbs political director john dickerson, and over on the left, where they're very comfortable, david corn who write for "mother jones" the author of a new ebook called "47%," uncovering the romney video that rockedly the 2012 election. david, of course, is the one who broke that story. and also with us today, katrina vanden heuvel of "the nation" magazine. i want to talk about this libya thing and see what you all think is the political impact of that in a minute. but frank luntz is here, and you did some very interesting research on the vice presidential debate. bring us up to speed on what that was. >> we have done three sessions and they all concluded the same
thing, that joe biden did well on the substance, but they were so angry with his style and want more that you split screen the two of them where they could see biden's interruptions and smiling and the laughing, it's funny i actually wrote down on my note, don't interrupt and don't smile. they didn't want that from the vice president. and he could have gained points. but not a single person in any session switched. there the previous debate, we had about a third our group switched. >> schieffer: when you say your sessions, what were these focus groups? what exactly was this? how are you measuring this? >> we take undecide voters in a number of dyfferent cities in the key swing states b30 people, and they react second by second, using dials. in and in almost every biden's style scores did better than ryans and yet when you startlet discussion the first thing they said is, "why was he interrupting? why was he seeming to go overboard? he was passionate but he went too far." >> at the risk of interrupting, you know, what strikes me about
this with romney, for example, is we're not about to pick the head of a yacht club. we're electing a president, right. so in terms of substance, you have a presidential candidate who has a secret plan. he's going to cut taxes 20% across the board, $5 trillion, but won't tell us how he'll pay for it. to me, this is insting to the american people. and this is not, in my mind, a theater performance, bob. i mean, we are sitting here-- we're going to talk polls and strategy and debate performance, but this is th isn't show business. this is about leadership and who will lead this country in the next century. >> allow me one point on this, though, which is that if you can't cooperate in a debate setting with your opponent, how can you cooperate with congress? how can you work with the other side? and that's what they pointed out. it wasn't his performance that bothered them. they feel that barack obama can't work with congress, and so if you vote for him again, you're going to get four more years-- >> you did some independent survey after the biden-ryan debate, and one of the things you found was people liked what
ryan said about the ability of romney to work with the democratic legislature in massachusetts. >> correct. >> well, kudos to the 87% of the democrats in the state legislature who were willing to work with an opponent in service of a country and a state which we haven't seen from the republicans who have been so obdestructionist the last few years. >> basically what we learned from the first debate and i think the second debate is going to reinforce that message, there is a huge, soft, underbelly of any kind of support for barack obama, that we could take-- that a woman's-- the ladies' gap of 18 points and close it in 90 minutes, close it and to move to a 12-point swing. it tells me americans are looking for something. they are now decided that if there is something better, they're going to go there. and they saw mitt romney and they saw somebody who is a serious, thoughtful, very, very well prepared, knowledgeable, somebody who can lead and have a plan. and he set it all out there, and the people responded. and where i think biden was-- made his mistake is they may
have said, okay, he's knowledgeable. but what did ryan say? ryan said i am another thoughtful, very, very knowledgeable and determined to turn things around. and he sent that same message of leadership that can make a difference-- >> ro the romney-ryan ticket have a built-in advantage. the economy is not going the way anybody wants. they have been struggling for months and months. they put ethics their web site, and position papers but one reason i think romney did so well in first debate is he ran away from any specific he himself has put out. he won't talk as katrina mentioned how you do the tax plan. when he does a foreign policy speech as he says is, "i'll be tougher than barack obama" without saying what he will and endorses most of barack obama's foreign policy. so what we're getting a lot from quar campaign-- you guys are really good at this. i don't work for a campaign so it's not kind of an even fight here-- from your campaign a lot
of top-line rhetoric-- i'm strong, he's weak, i can make the economy better. he can't, without either filling in the specifics-- >> the specifics are there. >> go back to the one thing-- >> how to create jobs. >> go back to the one big issue, the big tax cut plan. he will not say how to pay for it. in fact they say over and over again we don't want to give that away. it's like it-- you remember nixon's secret plan-- you remember nixon's secret plan to end the vietnam war? it didn't exist. he just said he had one, and we see the same thing. you guys are so smart. if paul ryan is such a smart guy, he should be able to explain this. >> listen, we do know one thing, that breum has no defense of his-- barack obama has no defense of his record and no plan whatsoever for the future. number two-- >> you don't like it. he's put legislation forward-- >> mitt romney has laid it all out there. he said it's the loopholes. he's given different ideas and possibilities and he will work who democrats to come up with answers. the bottom line, just as in
massachusetts, he is going to put this country on a balanced budget and he's going to be a neutral. >> schieffer: i'm going to ring the bell here and go back to your cornerrers, and i'm going to go to referee john dickerson here. >> the voice of reason! >> context. what was happening in this debate, this vice presidential debate, when we got there, democrats were feeling dispirited they wanted to see the kind of passion from joe biden that we're seeing from david corn about these issues because they feel like they're getting mugged by the romney campaign. so the response was from biden to mug to the camera because they wanted to send kind of this message of can you believe this guy, at least to reset the democratic party. now, what about the swing voters? i think they're going to make the decision on the top of the ticket, which leaves a huge question for what's the president going to do? is he going to take this behavior of biden's and put some reasoning behind it? is he going to say, he's my kind of-- spouse say little over-heated-- but here is the actual reasoning behind it? and that's the job for the president. otherwise, you just consider this unfocused, kind of
sputtering, and that's not going to-- >> can i bring it back-- >> schieffer: let me just ask john one more question here. there's no question and the polls reflect that romney helped himself in his debate. you heard what frank luntz just said about that kind of instant poll that he ran. but are you seeing any polling yet that suggests that the vice presidential debate made any difference in the race, not on who won or lost? >> no, not really. i think we see, you know, this-- the race overall now in the national polls you see the average of them romney's up by a point or two. he was behind by three points or so before that denver debate. in the battleground states some have turned -- colorado, florida is looking better, ohio is a little tighter, the president is still up there. that's all because of denver. i don't think we've seen anything in this-- the debate field like it went into the automatic sorting machine of this election where we already had, the right took from it what they wanted the left took what they wanted, and the swing voters may have been a little offended by biden but they're
not going to make their decision-- >> schieffer: i'm going to ring the bell for round two. >> bab bay brought up women and the gender gap which i think will be critical and what i'd like to hear in the next debate and we haven't heard it from the president or vice presidential debate so far, women in the context of economic security and their health. take a page from the playbook of elizabeth warren who has made that link and speak-- president obama needs to speak to how social security, medicare, medicaid, obamacare, work for women. work for women to control their economic security and destiny in a very volatile, difficult, economy. i hope we hear from that. we haven't heard from women's voices. and i think in the shrinking democracy we live-- in we only have nine swing states, and in each how many are we competing for for voters. i think you need to speak to the women, particularly the noncollege-educated white women who will be key in ohio and
those key states. >> i think that's where the vice president really hurt his ticket is because as women looked at that debate, there is nothing that is more offensive to us than to see a man constantly interrupt and be offensive and boorish in his behavior and have no respect for somebody trying to have a legitimate debate. i haven't talked to a woman who hasn't looked at that debate and not responded and said that was just awful and obnoxious. when you say-- >> bay, i talked to women who didn't have that reaction. including my mom. so the list-- you're drawing out what you want to draw out. >> i talk to a lot of women who are apolitical. i just know that women do not like that. but the second point, i agree that the debate itself, whoever won or lost that, is not going to change the vote. but what remains in their mind is who the serious ticket here? who are the two candidates that are really going to address the issues? and i think the two debates have shown without question it's romney and ryan. >> schieffer: let's let frank talk. >> you've got this ideological chasm right here at this table,
and that's not what these last 4%, 5% want. they actually don't want the yelling back and forth, with all due respect to all of us here. they're not voting based on philosophy. if they were they would have made up their minds already. the two of them don't agree on much. they're voting on character. they're voting on which person they think understands them and feels for them. and i'll show you. barack obama understands and empathizes, but he can't solve their problems. mitt romney, they perceive, can solve their pressures but they're not yetquenced whether he understands them. if romney can prove empathy, he wins. if obama can prove problem solving, he wins . the case is easier at this point for romney than obama. >> i kind of agree with you. i think what we're playing at this point in the game, everybody feels strongly as katrina and myself, and bay knows yourself who they're going to vote for, who they want to vote for. we're playing between the 48-yard line in a football game, a little margin here, a little marge thin. and i do think that's why the
47% tape-- which i'll take some credit for-- really showed a lot. and i think that's why biden came back to it. i do think in the debate ahead, talking to people in the obama camp, obama is going to try to remind people that there is a gap between what romney said in the debate and what he has or hasn't said previously. so he says, yeah, i'm for preexisting conditions, too, which is to get to the empathy issue that you're talking about. actually he's not for that. when he says trying to be more moderate, i'm not going to do anything to threaten abortion and his campaign has to come out-- >> i think that's where obama sees the opportunity. >> in the town hall debates, if that's the strategy barack obama takes he will lose that debate and this is why. romney will then say, "you were asked a question about where you stand and you turn and attack me, and that's all that you do." >> i don't think he doll that. do that. i disagree with frank on one
thing. you describe us as ideological. i will argue common sense. we're talking about returning tax rates to where they were under the clinton era. we're talking about tax rates that reagan would have supported. we're talking about economic security that millions of people believe in in terms of support for medicare and social security what franklin delano roosevelt built in this party. the republican party today wants to repeal and roll back the new deal and the civilizing advances of the 20th century. simply that. >> schieffer: we have to take a break for a commercial so we get paid. we'll be right back in one minute with more. and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help people and businesses who were affected, and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy --
and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. we've shared what we've learned with governments and across the industry so we can all produce energy more safely. i want you to know, there's another commitment bp takes just as seriously: our commitment to america. bp supports nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs in communities across the country. we hired three thousand people just last year. bp invests more in america than in any other country. in fact, over the last five years, no other energy company has invested more in the us than bp. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. today, our commitment to the gulf, and to america, has never been stronger. >> schieffer: we're back now with our panel. and as i sit here listening to you all, i mean, something just kind of comes to me. why is it there are so few undecideds at this time?
the undecide vote has been very small from the beginning. why is that? and why is it we no longer have national elections to elect a president? we have elections that come down to six to nine battleground states. why is that, john? >> the partisanship is because people, you know, have passionate feelings. those who are in the middle get turned off by conversations will the way-- >> schieffer: but people have always in america been passionate. >> well, but they've moved, you know, between parties on various issues. i mean, we now-- now they're passionate and line up with a single party, and, you know, it's just the parties-- you now have a situation where the most liberal republican is still more conservative than the most conservative democrat, and so people-- if that's the party that you're sorting to, then that's where people end up having off. any politician who might be attractive who leans and goes over towards the other party and might get some people who find them attractive, they don't exist anymore. >> schieffer: we used to have conservative democrats and
liberal republicans. and then we had conservative republicans-- >> there are far more liberal democrats in congress i think there are far more conservative democrats. you have the whole blue dog coalition than liberal republican. >> not so much anymore. >> the trend line is right. but think-- you know, i would argue-- and norman-- thomas mann wrote a whole book about it, they would argue they think the republican party has gotten more to the right than the democratic party has been throat, and it'sthode, you know, the inability to have bipartisan compromises. >> in context, there's no politician for a person in the middle to go latch on to. there's no-- the people don't exist to go rally upon. >> schieffer: what's your thought? >> it's 97% to 98% of all ads are now negative. so all you are told is why your opponent is a fool, is incompetent, or worse yet, a liar. and so are you supposed to then function as a democracy when 97% of it-- and it's awful. and it works. >> you remember--
>> i disagree on one point here. i think-- there's no question i was in the reagan campaign, and it was nasty. the primary was nasty. general election was nasty. it couldn't be any-- any uglier description of the man who eventually won. but because of his personality, he was the kind of guy that just bring you on over. bring tip over. let's have a drink. let's have a laugh. he was able to bring not only the country together but democrats and republicans and he forced solutions. he just forced it through. and i think that that's what we need. we need a leader who will bring the country together-- >> barack obama has-- >> katrina-- >> bob, you've lived politics for many years. let's not get nostalgic about how ugly it is. we have seen the money pour in which hassasmed up thades. we have one party that is an extremist party. the democratic party remains a coalition in many ways. >> oh, my god! >> i think president obama-- and we have had our agreement on
president obama's policies-- kyle to the city intent on trying to find compromise. and he found senator demint and senator mcconnell who said their first priority was to take them down. it was the first major piece of social legislation which passed-- correct me if i'm wrong-- without a single opposition party vote. i think we're looking at a redistricting. the flood of money posted since citizens united. demographic shifts and i would like to see a real republican party, but we don't have one at the moment. we have an extremist republican party. there are-- the moderate republicans are an and i think breed. and i think that is dangerous and unhealthy. >> it's interesting that you're concerned about the republican party. i think that's very, very engaging of you, but you know what? this republican party is as strong and energetic and excited about guiding and directing there country as i have ever seen it in 20 years. the energy out there is similar to what we had with reagan. there's no question it's more-- >> what? >> i was at the convention.
>> i was at that convention. >> i didn't see anything resembling the type of energy. grass roots? >> we have a terrific-- we have a bench of terrific young leaders coming up. >> lindsey graham, who was on earlier, said in a moment of honesty, that we may not have enough grumpy old white men left soon to continue the party as it is. the demographic changes in this country are so powerful-- >> today's party-- >> right now, congress has-- democrats in the senate and republicans in the house, has a 10% job approval rate. qacoffee had a 14% rating and that's among the people who killed him. >> you're not advocate-- >> schieffer: i want to do my focus group. what happens next in the campaign and what does your person have to do and i'll start with bay, go down this way, and come back this way. >> we have to keep the momentum. we have enormous momentum across the board as is indicated in every one of these states. and what the governor has to do
and will do is be exactly who he was at that last debate, be himself. get out there and let the american people know the kind of amazing leader, he has competence and experience and know-how to turn this country around and put america back to work. we doll it in the next two debates. >> and my person is not romney or the democrats. i come here as a cbs news analyst. the candidates have to address jobs and they have to address bipartisanship. they have to demonstrate that they have a specific plan because people in ohio, in wisconsin, in north carolina, in florida, are hurting. badly hurting. and the they're losing it because they're afraid of the future and they have to show they can work together, that there's some way for them to go across the aisle, and that will determine who the next president is. >> schieffer: i want to have john go last opinion. >> okay, i don't have-- i don't represent any campaign. i'm a journalist. i don't, bay. and you do. and i think for the president after the last debate, it's
pretty clear he's going to have to show some vim and vigor and i think he's going to have to find a way to puncture what i think is the 11th hour conversion of mitt romney from a guy who had very extreme, very specific ideas until a guy just says i'm great. trust me. and who looks good and can play the part. and it's a town hall debate or the debate you're going to get to moderate down the road and with advertising and the ground game as well he's going to have to find a way to bring romney back to where he's been campaigning all exploong show he himself, barack obama, has specific ideas. >> i think president obama, i would agree with frank, has to speak about jobs and the pain there this country, feel people's pain. i think he has to speak with passion and engage am. engagement. i think he need to lay out what he will do but i also think he needs to expose the extreme makeover the mitt romney and point to the news of the lowest jobless rate since 2009. 500,000 manufacturing and auto industry jobs. and finally, i think he does
need to speak again to women, and economic security, in a very important way. and those-- those are the key things. >> schieffer: let me just ask john, what do you expect in 30 seconds? the president will have to find a way to say, mitt romney doesn't care enough to be straight with you in the campaign. he's not going to care enough to be straight with you as the president. romney has to say they're tired and out of ideas. the only creativity you see is finding new people to blame. they play the video in libya, the a.t.m.s for the economy. they're out of ideas. the only creativity is pointing the finger of blame is what romney will argue. >> schieffer: we'll be back with thoughts from other people on what they think.
>> schieffer: the late night comics have played a larger role than ever in this campaign, and there was no better example than last week. and that is our "face the nation" flashback. >> congressman ryan, we begin with your opening statements. >> thank you. first of all, ( laughter ) i want to thank center college for hosting us this evening. >> oh, boy, here we go!
( laughter ). >> mr. vice president, i know you're flower a lot of duress to make up for lost ground but i think the people would be better served if we didn't keep interrupting each other. >> you don't scare me, sharpize. >> mitt, it's barack, are you watching the debate? >> no i'm watching breaking amish. >> we should play a drinking graham gamewhere every time biden says my friend and ryan won't give specifics about your tax plan i'll take a shot. >> that's an awful lot of milk to be drinking on a thursday night. ( laughter ) by the way, did you give biden any predebate advice? >> well, yeah, i just told him if you have no idea what you're talking about and can't think of anything to say just say the word "malarkey." here it goes. >> with all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey. >> i told the same thing to paul ryan, except i said, if you get
confused just start making up countries. >> still coming in to zabal, kakunar, to all of these areas. >> nailed it! zabal, that was a good one. >> schieffer: the problem is i can't figure out which ones were the real ones. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... ...so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.